Having been set a competitive target of 260 by Ireland, Rahmat Shah’s fifth ODI century guided the Afghan chase along with a great knock of 82 by Hashmatullah Shahidi after both the openers were back to the pavilion in quick succession. The pair added Afghanistan’s highest-ever partnership for the third wicket scoring 184 runs before Hashmatullah lost his wicket to Simi Singh.
Earlier, Irish skipper Andy Balbirnie won the toss and opted to bat first in friendly conditions at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium. Ireland lost two quick wickets as Kevin O’Brien and Balbirnie were out for single digits. However, experienced contender Paul Stirling continued his amazing run of form against Afghanistan with his second century against them in ODI Cricket.
Stirling and Harry Tector consolidated the Irish innings for the third wicket and added 116 runs before Naveen ul Haq broke the solid partnership. Naveen was the pick of the Afghan bowlers as the Irish innings progressed. He claimed 4 wickets giving away 42 runs in the process while off-spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman was another notable bowler taking 3 wickets.
All-rounder Curtis Campher played a good knock of 47 runs propelling the Ireland team to a decent total of 259/9 in the allotted 50 overs.
Afghanistan chased the target of 260 in 46th over of their chase and secured the series gaining 20 points in the ICC Cricket World Cup ODI Super League as well.
The third and final match of the Kardan University Cup will be played on 26th January at the same venue between both sides.